American Airlines To Outsource Some 757 Maintenance

American Airlines has announced plans to outsource heavy maintenance on four Boeing 757's to a company in North Carolina.

The planes had been serviced in Tulsa.

The company calls it a short term solution and released the following statement:

"Over several years, we have outsourced very few, specialized projects, usually on a short-term basis. That work is a minuscule fraction of our overall maintenance operation.

{}In the case of the Boeing 757 fleet, a short-term solution was required to address heavy maintenance checks that were needed for some of the aircraft. The company planned for this work, but it has taken longer than expected to complete some of the maintenance checks. There is only a set amount of space, machinery and employees to complete this maintenance work in-house. If the work is not done in time, the aircraft would have to be grounded, forcing the airline to cancel flights and adversely affecting our customers and employees{}As a result - and as a short-term solution - we are sending four 757 aircraft to Timco Aviation in North Carolina. This allows us to get the work completed without affecting our customers or the operation. Keep in mind, that's four of 124 planes in American's 757 fleet. That means our TWU employees will still handle nearly 97 percent of our 757 maintenance.{}For the 757 work, we did discuss a number of possibilities with the TWU, but as the union knows, these were economically unfeasible."In response, the local Transport Workers Union also released a statement saying, "AA management purposefully made the decision to put off repairs because they didn't want to hire any more people and they didn't have enough to get it done. {}The repairs weren't critical at the time, but it was corrosion and progressed. {}By contract, it's TWU's work."TWU International Organizer Rick Mullings said they will file a grievance."It's 4 to 5 airplanes right now, but there will probably be more in the future. {}AA gets $70-80 million from Tulsa promising to grow, then didn't. {}TWU pitched to management their idea for the repair plan, but it was refused, so now it has to be contracted out. {}Mechanics are trained in business, so they're educated on how to do this."It's a bad management decision," Mullings said. {}